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Resurrection 5e D&D Guide [2023]

Resurrection 5e D&D Guide [2023]

Resurrection is a 7th-level healing spell available to the Bard and Cleric spell lists.

Creatures perish, no matter how strong or how intelligent. However, those who were laid to rest can be reborn once more.

Resurrection removes them from the dark and lights a new path they must walk with their new master.

The Player’s Handbook says the following:

Resurrection 5e

7th-level Necromancy

Casting Time: 1 hour

Range: Touch

Components: V, S, M (one diamond worth at least 1000 GP, which the spell will consume)

Duration: Instantaneous

You can touch a dead creature that has been dead for no longer than a century, that didn’t die of old age, and isn’t undead.

If its soul is both free and willing, the target will return to life with all its hit points.


This spell neutralizes any poisons, curing normal diseases afflicting the creature when it died.

It doesn’t remove magical diseases, curses, and the like; if such effects aren’t removed before casting the spell, they plague the target on its return to life.

This spell also closes all mortal wounds and restores any missing body parts.

Temporary Debuff (Creature)

Coming back from the dead is quite an ordeal. The target takes a -4 penalty to all attack rolls, ability checks, and saving rolls.

Every time the target can finish a long rest, the penalty will be reduced by 1 until it disappears.

Temporary Debuff (Player)

Casting this spell to resurrect a creature that has been dead for a year or longer will tax you greatly.

Until you complete a long rest, you can’t cast spells again, and you have a disadvantage on all attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws.

Which Classes Can Pick Resurrection?

Traditional classes, like the Bard and Cleric, freely unlock Resurrection.

The Bard and Cleric can unlock and use this spell at level 13.

No subclasses freely unlock this spell.

Is Resurrection Good in 5e?

Resurrecting someone from the dead is extremely powerful in D&D. More so when you find out that cheating death isn’t as easy as it seems. In most cases, it’s very tricky.

Advantages – Resurrection

No Action Requirement

Resurrection doesn’t use an action to be cast. Instead, it uses time (1 hour).

At later levels wasting your action can have dire consequences, as you’ll be facing some of the most frightening enemies in D&D.

Having a spell that lets you keep your action before combat starts is a huge bonus.

No Concentration

No Concentration is used when performing the Resurrection spell. It is primarily due to the spell most being used after combat and because of its initial 1 hour casting time.

Sometimes the rules are changed to balance spells they find broken. Therefore, if enemies were to attack you, the spell would continue. Just make sure this is the case from your DM.

Cheating Death

Using Resurrection essentially has the target cheat death by allowing them to once again walk the ground death removed them from.

Even though there will be temporary drawbacks, having your life back is much more critical.

Disadvantages – Resurrection

Close Range

The close range this spell has is only a downside in combat. Players can use it in combat, but it should be wisely thought over because of its high casting time and imminent endangerment.

Instead, most players will use it out of combat when they have enough time to finish the spells and deal with its drawbacks peacefully.

Very Rare Material

A Material component worth 1000 GP is expensive, don’t get me wrong. But, at higher levels, most parties will have more than enough GP to spend on materials.

The main problem comes with rarity. Even though you can afford it, the DM might make the item extremely rare.

Not only will this make resurrection more difficult, but it will also increase the price of death itself.

Spells Similar To Resurrection

Some spells have similar functions to Resurrection, like Revivify, Raise Dead, and Resurrection’s older brother True Resurrection.

When or How Should I Use Resurrection?

Ritual Resurrection

Some DMs might include Resurrection in their campaign but with a twist.

The campaign might have you resurrecting a creature using a ritual. This ritual would take more than 1 hour, need more than 2 people, and have other target-specific materials.

Note: The DM might also incorporate something like this for the normal Resurrection spell, changing the rules completely.

Bring Back an Ally

Death becomes another ball game in the later stages of a campaign. Leaving your party amid a chaotic battle could kill them entirely, especially if you were a damage dealer or control mage.

If your team acts quickly, they might be able to retreat. Bringing your body with them and then attempting to resurrect you.

Even though the battle was lost, reviving a teammate and having them there for the next time (with a grudge) can change the outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much of a Corpse Is Needed for Resurrection?

Since Resurrection restores missing body parts, only a little of the corpse is needed to work in the original game.

However, if the DM wishes to intervene (because of how powerful the spell is), they can change the corpse requirements.

Can I Bring Back My Undead Companion?

It states that Resurrection can’t resurrect undead, so it shouldn’t be possible. However, the DM is the final barrier to whether an idea works, so they’ll have the last say.

Should DMs Ban Resurrection From Their Games?

Even though Resurrection is extremely powerful, banning spells isn’t how DMs should go about things.

There are many ways to balance a spell as the DM. Experienced DMs should instead opt to change the spell in specific ways.

Changing the way it is cast, the rarity of the Material component, giving it additional drawbacks, etc.

Final Thoughts

Resurrection is seen as a broken spell by some DMs. It is a spell that defies death and gives players another chance to rectify their mistakes.

Players learn from it and know what choices to or not to make afterward. It’s a spell that can be balanced by a good DM and incorporated into a campaign to put the cherry on top.

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